Bearing ain't Bearing

Bearing ain’t Bearing

There are many different bearings found on a Wolf hop picking machine. From a standard pillow block bearing to internal bearings as well as flange bearings and basic ball bearings. The focus in this article is on bearings that hold a shaft of a certain diameter. When it comes to the pillow block bearings there are bore sizes from 20mm to 50mm and in some case even a bit larger. The very early machines up to the 1980s have pillow block bearings that are a bit different to the standard UCP bearings that are available in almost any industrial store. The difference of the UCP to an ‘old-style’ bearing is the mounting bolt distance and position as well as the center height. If you decide to change from an old style bearing to a standard pillow block you must know that these differences can be adjusted with a couple of small modifications such as adding suitable shims for center height and slight modification to the mounting holes in the machine frame. Both methods are rather a rough fix and not recommended. However, during a breakdown at harvest this might be just what you have to do to get the machine up and running. Also, this method does not work in places of the machine where excessive force is found and adjusting bolts are used that push on the side of the bearing, such as the chopper. The chopper bearings should always be replaced with the original replacements. 

Here are your options:

  1. Replace with Standard Pillow Block Bearing (least recommended on older machines)

Standard Bearing


  • Modification to slotted holes in machine frame
  • Shimming necessary to achieve correct height of shaft


  1. Replace bearing insert with original bearing insert

Bearing insert


  • Cast housing must still be in tact (inspect for cracks)
  • Reuse rubber seal or make new one


  1. Replace with new machined pillow block bearing

Machined Pillow Block bearing


  • none


Rebuilding a bearing is not hard: 

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